10 Startup Programs You Can Safely Disable to Speed Up Windows

PCs that take a lot of time to start up are one of the most irritating things faced by Windows users. There can be many reasons for a slow booting PC; a major cause of slow startup is too many programs and services running once Windows 10 or 11 loads.

Let’s take a closer look at some common startup programs that slow down Windows from booting and how you can safely disable them. In addition, we’ll look at how to manage startup programs and how you can determine what program you should or shouldn’t allow to start up. The below guide is applicable for both Windows 10 and 11.

Why Should You Disable Startup Programs?

If your computer has been booting up slowly, you probably have too many programs and services trying to start up all at once. But you haven’t configured any startup programs, so how do they get there?

Often, programs will automatically add themselves to the startup apps list. Having too many startup apps can overload your system and prevent it from starting up quickly. It’s always a good idea to pay attention to the startup programs list when installing software and to regularly remove bloatware.

However, some programs and services are necessary for your PC to function, and should be allowed as startup apps.

Commonly Found Startup Programs and Services

1. iTunes Helper

If you have an Apple device (iPod, iPhone, etc.), this process will automatically launch iTunes when the device is connected to the computer. It is an unneeded process, as you can manually launch iTunes when you’d like, and it is especially unnecessary if you don’t have an Apple device at all.

2. QuickTime

QuickTime allows you to play and open various media files. The program is often required to view web content, specifically videos. But why does it need to “startup”? Short answer: it doesn’t.

3. Zoom

Yes, we all love Zoom. But, there is no need for it to be a startup program when you can manually launch it as needed to attend meetings. Furthermore, disabling it at startup does not affect Zoom’s updates.

4.Adobe Reader

You probably know Adobe Reader as the popular PDF reader on your computer. Although you don’t need it (and there are great alternative PDF readers), Adobe Reader is still the program of choice for many. Why it needs to automatically startup is beyond us.


Skype is an excellent video chat program—no one is arguing that. But do you need it starting up and signing in as soon as you log into Windows? Probably not.

6. Google Chrome

Did you know that for Google Chrome to stay updated and current, you don’t need it and its other services to startup? All it does at startup is consume precious system resources that your system could use for faster bootup.

7. Spotify Web Helper

Spotify is a terrific way to discover new music, and with the new Spotify web player, you don’t even need it installed. However, if you do have it installed, you might find this little application in your startup.

It simply allows the Spotify desktop application to communicate with your browser. When a Spotify song is clicked somewhere on the web, it automatically opens up in the desktop application. Is that feature worth the added burden to your bootup time? No.

If you have a webcam, you will likely have CyberLink’s YouCam for your software. Thus, “they” (the manufacturers) feel it should automatically startup. So what does it do when it starts up? Nothing, except add unneeded processes. Uncheck.

9. Evernote Clipper

We’re huge fans of Evernote, and the Web Clipper is fantastic. That said, it has always been puzzling as to why it gets added to the startup. You can easily disable it and use the Web Clipper daily, if not hourly, basis, and you will not face any issues with it not clipping correctly.

10. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is the most well-known office suite around. But what good does it do for you when starting up? If you disable it, can you still open any files? Yes. Can you launch any of the programs manually? Yes. Are there any features that you can’t take advantage of? No. Allowing it to start up is merely a burden on your system

Keep in mind that this applies to any alternative office suites as well.

Managing Your Startup Programs and Services

System Configuration is a great local tool to use for managing startup applications and services. You can launch it by typing MSConfig in the Start Menu search bar and selecting the Best match.

Alternatively, press Win + R to open the Run dialog, input msconfig, and press Enter.

As a Windows user, you will also notice that the Startup tab in the System Configuration no longer lists the startup applications. Instead, there is a link pointing you to the Startup tab in the Task Manager, which you can also get to by right-clicking on the Windows Taskbar or with the hotkey combination: Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Once you view the Startup tab, you can sort the items by name, publisher, status (enabled/disabled), and startup impact (high, medium, low).

It appears as though to prevent services from starting up, you must still uncheck them in System Configuration, as stopping them in the Task Manager only stops them at that time, and they will start again when the system reboots.

To Keep or Not to Keep

This list above is limited to typical applications and services you should remove if installed on your PC. You may have more or less depending on the programs you have. For instance, Steam, the popular gaming software, is another program that can function perfectly without needing to be added to the system startup. There is also plenty of bloatware you can remove in Windows 10.

Suggestions For What You Should Allow to Start-Up

We’ve outlined some guidelines to help you determine what startup programs and services should be allowed on your system:

  • Leave alone anything associated with your antivirus (e.g., Avast, Avira, etc.).
  • Services, drivers and applications for audio, wireless, touchpads (for laptops) shouldn’t be disabled.
  • Be cautious disabling Microsoft services – know precisely what you’re doing.
  • Intel, AMD and Nvidia graphic card services and display drivers should generally be allowed as startup apps.
  • Cloud sync programs like Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, etc., should startup.
  • Anything you want to run automatically, without your permission (Think: “set and forget”).

If you’re still curious about some programs that you should let startup, apart from those mentioned in this article, then it’s always a good idea to Google the purpose of that program and whether or not you should specifically disable it.

Keep in mind that you want to have as little as possible starting up, but you also want to take advantage of your computer’s ability to launch various programs without the need to do it manually.

Websites to Help Evaluate a Program

Due to constant changes in technology, one cannot rely on a single article to determine what all non-essential startup items are. Even with given guidelines, sometimes a service or program is unrecognizable or vague in the description.

For those, you need to turn to websites with a database of applications and services that show what they are, who makes them, and whether they’re necessary for your computer to run correctly. Below is a list of recommended websites:

Speed Up Your PC By Disabling Startup Programs

It’s essential to understand that there is a risk in removing services and programs from the startup. Although many are not needed, many others are. Should you remove something critical to your computer starting up, there can be severe consequences. We cannot reiterate enough the importance of knowing exactly what to expect upon terminating each service and program from starting.

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